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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

ETYMOLOGY OF LOCAL NAMES.                                         323
of centuries, and with even the eirarelies on their old sites, though tie latter
had become useless In consequence of the cliaage in the national religion^
which required one or two large arenas for the display of pulpit eloquence rather
than, many secluded oratories for private devotion,    "When a similar calamity
befell an Indian city, as It often did,  the position  of the old sfiriaes
generally marked by rode connnemGratiTO stones,, bus the people           no
difficulty abont abandoning the exact sites of their old liomes? if equally eligible
spots offered themselves ia the neighbourhood.
The same diversity of conservative ideas runs through the wiiole diameter:
the Hindu quotes the practice of his father and grandfather and persuades
Mmself that he is as they vere? and that they were as their forefathers, uncon-
scious of any change and ignoring the evidence of it that is afforded by ancient
monmnents, both literary and architectural. The former he prizes only for
their connexion with the sect to which lie himself belongs ; whatever is illus-
trative of an alien faith be consigns to destruction without any regard for its
Mstory or artistic significance ; and in an ancient building, if it has fallen, into
disuse, he sees no beauty and can take no interest; though this can scarcely
be from the feeling that he can easily replace it with a better^ a coavictioii
•which led oar medieval architects to destroy without compunction any part
of an earlier cathedral, however beautiful in itself, which had become decayed
or too small for later reqnirmeiits. In al these matters England is far more
critically conservative; telieving in nothlngj we tolerate everything; and
profoundly distrusting our own creative faculties^ we preserve as models wlmtever
we rescue from the either in art or literature.
These refections may         to wander rather far from Hie mark 5 "but
explain the carious equipoise that prevails ia the Indian mind between a pro*
found contempt for antiquity anil am equally profound veneration for it   The
very sight regard in which ancient         are field is illustrated by the use of
the terms * Little * and i          * as local prefixes*   In consequence of the ten-
dency to shift the centre of population,          selJom afford information, as to
the comparative area and importance of the two villages so di&tingiiished: most
frequently the one styled & Little' will be" the larger of the two.   la some
the prelx 4 Great*              only                  the common property was
divided            the sons of the              the          so designated fell to the lot
of tie          ; but ordinarily it             the original vilkge site, wMdi Ims fceen
•wholly or at least partially                    or so dlmmished by snoceseve parti-
tions that It ims eventelly             the                      least important of the
group.